Arlington police

Arlington Police Chief Calls Graffiti Containing Racial Slur a ‘Hate Crime'

Arlington police investigated a dozen instances of graffiti Tuesday on East Arkansas Lane. The message was a racial slur that the police chief called a "hate crime."

"Hate crimes, however, is one of those crimes that extends its victimization beyond the immediate victims or the property owners in which the graffiti was painted on," Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said. "It transcends the actual victims of the crimes and it really tries to victimize entire groups of people."

The graffiti was spray-painted on buildings, signs, posts and brick walls. All of it appeared to be the work of the same suspect or suspects.

"It's really a message from a racist individual to an entire group of people," Johnson said. "As a police officer, I want to prevent all crime, but I also know that there are some crimes that are more hurtful to a community, more impactful, certainly has the potential for more divisiveness."

"It's sad. It's really sad," said one woman who didn't want to use her name for fear of being targeted. "We all bleed the same blood. We may be different colors, but we bleed the same blood."

City workers spent the day scrubbing off the graffiti or painting over it. One man hired by a nearby business dismantled a shed that had graffiti on it.

"I think it's better to focus on the solution than the problem," he said.

"The solution is people loving one another," the woman who didn't want to use her name said. "Getting along with one another."

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